– Pregnant women appeal to public
The Maternal Waiting Home (MWH) near the Phebe Hospital in Suakoko District, Bong County, has run out of food and other necessities for use by pregnant women at the home.
In the wake of the situation, the management of home has asked all pregnant women there to bring their own food, including personal hygiene materials that were previously provided by the management.
Robert T. Wilson, chief security assigned at the home, informed the Daily Observer that some of the pregnant women at the home are nowadays bringing their own food, and often times it is a challenge if they have limited resources to share with family members they have left back home.
According to him, since Africare-Liberia, an organization that was funding the home ceased its financial and material support in 2017, women collect L$50 and a cup of rice every day to feed themselves.
He said the L$50 is only to buy salt and other ingredients to accompany the rice.
“Some of the women don’t even pay the L$50, and the cup of rice, because they can’t even afford that. Some of them came from far distances to wait for their labor term at the home,” Wilson said.
According to him, prior to the recent downward trend of events at the home, Africare-Liberia used to provide the pregnant women with nutrient-rich food such as corn soya beans, vegetable oil, biscuits that would help keep the expected babies warm and strong.
Apart from the short supply of food at the home, Wilson said there are also high costs of transportation to convey some of the pregnant women, unlike in the past when they were transported free-of-charge.
At present, one of the nurses who spoke on condition of anonymity said the four rooms at the home are, as of Wednesday, November 14, occupied with 20 pregnant women, but there was no required food for them to eat as they await their respective labor and delivery dates.
The source lamented that distance to a health facility has long been discussed as a key barrier to providing maternal healthcare in rural setting.
With the prevailing condition, some of them have henceforth left the waiting home in search of food and money in the neighborhood to make contribution to their daily collection in order to eat at least once a day, a situation the nurses said was appalling.
Some of the pregnant women at the home, including Annie Kollie, 20, and Ahja Kromah, a mother of four, said they only depend on friends for feeding.
“We cooked potato greens soup with red palm oil, but no fish or a piece of meat; so how will our expected baby be healthy,” they wondered.
They therefore pleaded with other organizations in the business of healthcare to extend their humanitarian hands to them through the provision of food.